Fitness is an area where people love to set “rules” for how they will hit their goals.
No alcohol on weekdays
No food after 7pm
No calories until noon
Only certain foods after 7pm
None of this type of food except on weekends
You get the idea.
I say “rules” in quotation marks because we think of these things as rules, and to truly make them effective they need to become a habit, and that takes time.
All the ones I listed above are not actually ones I’m a huge fan of. It’s not that they aren’t useful things to do, it’s that they are incredibly broad and typically end up feeling like a lot of work for little result.
For instance, if you only drink alcohol on weekends, but on weekends you typically have a couple and your drinks are accompanied by a beautiful charcuterie board of delicious meats and cheeses, the calories you saved by not drinking during the week just get pushed to the weekend and you end up consuming the same amount, but it took a lot of willpower during the week to say “no”.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of setting rules for yourself. As I mentioned, they are a great foundation to build a habit from, and can be incredibly useful.
Today I’ve got one of my favorite rules to help you hit your goals:
Set your non-negotiables – what are the things on your health and fitness journey that are simply non-negotiable for you?
The beauty of this is it’s customized for your needs, and your non-negotiables can vary.
Here’s 3 that I find work wonders:
Don’t skip more than 1 workout in a row – struggling to stay consistent with your workouts because of a full calendar? Missing a workout or two is inevitable. The beauty of this is now you never miss more than 1 in a row. I’ve used this when I was in a fitness rut and it helped me get back into the gym regularly. Yea, 1 or 2 workouts a week isn’t as good as 3-4 for results, but it’s a lot better than 0, and reframes the “beating yourself up” from missing a workout into “alright, this next one is non-negotiable because I missed the last one”.
Move every day – now that I work from home a lot, this one resonates especially strongly. It’s just so easy to be sedentary. Setting this non-negotiable makes sure that you do something every day – whether it’s a workout, a walk, some cardio, or an activity you love. I often find I don’t feel like I have the energy to be active after a long day, and with this non negotiable it makes it simple to just go for a walk. Lo and behold, I always have more energy afterwards and I bet you will too.
Make your junk food a 10/10 – this is probably my favorite for the late night snackers out there like me. With this, you only eat junk food that is a 10/10 for you – the ones you love the MOST! For me this makes it clear – I’m not eating chips unless they are Mrs. Vickie’s Salt and Vinegar. I’m only eating chocolate if it’s Cadbury Cream Eggs (god I love those). I’m only eating gummy candies if they are Haribo. It makes it easy to say no to the ‘whatever’ junk food that inevitably makes its way into my house.
Check out the video below for more about this rule, plus 3 other tips to make fitness easier.